A new Associated Press analysis shows that rising sea levels and fierce storms have failed to stop relentless population growth along U.S. coasts in recent years. The latest punishing hurricanes scored bull's-eyes on two of the country's fastest-growing regions: coastal Texas around Houston and resort areas of southwest Florida.
Nothing seems to curb America's appetite for life near the sea, especially in the warmer climates of the South. Researchers and policy advisers who study hurricanes say coastal development destroys natural barriers such as islands and wetlands, promotes erosion and flooding, and positions more buildings and people in the path of future destruction.
Nationally, coastline counties grew an average of 5.6 percent since 2010, while inland counties gained just 4 percent.